Thumpermonkey sounded VERY much like Faith No More when I last heard them on “Sleep Furiously,” so when I heard a track from their new album “Make Me Young, Etc” I was surprised by how it sounded. “Veldt” is the song in question and it strips away any traces of that FNM influence and is an amazing song. It starts slow and build quite dramatically.
Needless to say, Thumpermonkey seem to have harnessed their chaotic power into something that is not only more focused but actually more powerful as well. Where guitars ruled their sound before, keyboards give the band a dynamic that they lacked before. And it doesn’t stop with “Veldt.” Every track is powerful in its own way and has more colors than ever.
Where it was easy to catalogize Thumpermonkey’s sound before, with “Make Me Young, Etc” it’s not that simple. I do hear a more modern prog sound similar to that of Amplifier (they are on that band’s label now) and to an extent, Steven Wilson but more like “Grace for Drowning” or “Insurgentes.” Simply put, “Make Me Young, Etc” is one of the big surprises of 2018 for me and it puts Thumpermonkey firmly on the prog map.
Release Date: 26 October 2018
So what is the difference between Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly and Beardfish? I don’t mean the band that backs Rikard Sjöblom but rather soundwise, how are they different? This used to be easier to define when both bands existed. Gungfly was more 70s rock radio and Beardfish were straight up prog. But now Gungfly sounds more like a combination of the two.
To be fair, Gungfly did have some tracks that were a tad proggy because that’s just what Rikard Sjöblom does well! The latest album “Friendship” is probably the most prog sounding album for Gungfly OR it’s the poppiest album by Beardfish! Ok maybe I am kidding on that last part but the title track along on this album is as epic and satisfying as anything Beardfish ever did!!
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 9 November 2018
Spires is one of the most overlooked, underrated prog metal bands on the planet. People always ask me to promote indie bands. I post Spires quite a lot on the Facebook page and yet where the fuck are the likes? Folks, if you don’t check out this band, you are missing out. Yes there is something quite Opethian about Spires but since Opeth has moved on from this style, someone needs to fill the void.
To be clear, I bought this album and it is NOT a promo like many releases. I am a fan, first and foremost. So I was excited to hear “A Parting Gift.” It is their latest opus and it might very well be the best Spires album to date. Plenty of heaviness, death vocals, and blast beats intermixed with the somewhat operatic clean vocals of Paul Sadler and the delicate interludes that create what Spires does well.
The band know their way around a prog metal epic as evident with “The Seer” and the closing track “Etchings in the Emptyness.” But it’s the ethereal beauty of the title track that not only shows dynamics but somehow makes the heavier tracks even heavier. The key is that the band write good SONGS. No matter the style or the length, it’s the songs that matter. These songs could easily be played with any arrangement and work. THAT is why “A Parting Gift” is so damn good and why you need to be a Spires fan right NOW!!!
Release Date: 28 September 2018